Rose kicks Lions to narrow win over Cheetahs

Replacement flyhalf Earl Rose landed two late kicks to earn the Lions a 23-22 win at the Cheetahs in the Super 14 on Saturday.

The Lions were outscored by three tries to two in a tense South African derby where the lead changed hands five times.

The Cheetahs were on target in the second minute when right wing Eddie Fredericks ended a sweeping move by diving over in the corner.

The Lions replied with a penalty by Louis Strydom before going in front seven minutes from halftime when flanker Franco van der Merwe crashed over for a try.

The Cheetahs hit back three minutes later as number eight Duane Vermeulen raced away to score following a tapped free kick.

Strydom then booted his second penalty in the 39th minute to put the Lions 13-12 ahead.

But there was still time before the break for Barend Pieterse to clean up a messy lineout and sprint away for another Cheetahs try as the hosts changed ends with a 19-13 advantage.

With 16 minutes to go, centre Doppies la Grange dived over for a Lions touchdown before Rose, who came on for Strydom midway through the second half, converted from the touchline.

Rose struck again 10 minutes later with a penalty after Cheetahs scrumhalf Noel Oelschig was penalised for throwing the ball at opposite number Jano Vermaak during a break in play. - Reuters

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